August 30, 2014  

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Winners Announced in Seventh Annual Invent Your Future Competition

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An advanced foam padding system for football helmets took home the top prize in the seventh annual Invent Your Future competition held Tuesday, April 26 at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Thio-lene Works, comprised of Southern Miss students Olivia McNair, Adam Richardson and Davis Brent, captured first place and a $6,000 cash prize. The team’s goal is to produce a thio-lene foam padding that will drastically reduce the prevalence of traumatic brain injury.

McNair is a third-year doctoral candidate in polymer science with an emphasis in sports and high performing materials. Richardson is a soon-to-be-graduating doctoral candidate in chemistry, while Brent is a sophomore in the polymer science program at Southern Miss.

Invent Your Future is sponsored by Noetic Technologies, located in The Accelerator, Southern Miss’ new business incubator. The technology-based competition identifies innovative ideas from around the country and fosters their commercial potential by providing capital and valuable mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs.

Christian Corral, branding and communications manager at Noetic, noted that there were 25 applications for this year’s competition which was ultimately trimmed to seven finalists.

“This was by far the best field of contestants we’ve ever had,” said Corral. “We had three entries from India, one from Pakistan and another from Russia. One of our finalists was from Delaware. This is the kind of interest we had hoped to generate when we launched this competition seven years ago.”

Second place and a cash prize of $5,000 went to V-Trak Technologies, comprised of Southern Miss College of Business students Laurie Benevenutti and Justin Clark. Their idea – Tire Replacement and Automobile Maintenance Prediction Observance (TRAM-PRO) – is an advanced tire safety and brake monitoring system.

Third place and a cash prize of $4,000 went to Structured Light Image Capture, a product designed by Prasanna Rangarajan, a doctoral candidate at Southern Methodist University. His invention represents a technical breakthrough in perspective imaging that affords cameras the unique ability to capture unprecedented amounts of spatial detail and 3D topographic information.

For more information about the Invent Your Future contest, online visit Noetic Technologies at http://www.noetictechnologies.org/